Last year there were over 200 posts to this blog. I have been blogging almost daily for more than eight years now, first internally for five years at NAB and then for the last three years on this blog. I write on many of the days I don’t publish, leaving some ideas for future research and development. The near daily process of working out loud on ideas has been amazingly productive and a wonderful source of new relationships and opportunities.
Last week I needed to put together two different talks on working out loud, one for the AITD Conference and another for Intranets2016. As I sat down to work through those talks I discovered I was able to draw on a reservoir of ideas that I had thought through, blogged and turned into images. Having a ready source of my thoughts helped me to see new connections and new opportunities:
Blogging can make putting together a talk easier. The ideas, thinking & images are already sorted & tested. #wol. #AITD2016— Simon Terry (@simongterry)
Blogging has also become a deeply ingrained habit over time. When I began trying to blog daily I used BJ Fogg’s tiny habit approach to get me started. My blog post each day was the work I did while I drank my first coffee. I would never have forecast when I began that thinking out loud would become the way I work through so many challenges. When I have an idea or a challenge to consider my first thought is to start working through how I would blog it. Now I am much more alert each day to the insights and the opportunities. I am always looking for connections and querying how what I read relates to past and future blogposts. I have learned to be much more concise in my thinking and expression. Most importantly I have learned to let more of myself out in the process. The latter has played a key role in creating and deepening relationships.
Last week I was explaining my blogging process to a friend and I found myself saying ‘It’s just like breathing’. I surprised myself with how casually I referred to the process, but it was true. Persistent practice moved me forward to a different relationship to my working out loud. Because the habits are deeply engrained the stress and anxiety of writing slips away a little more. What is left is the joy of thinking, sharing and making new connections.